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Va. Governor Blocks Bill on Electric Chair

Would have been Plan B if lethal injection drugs ran out
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 11, 2016 7:46 AM CDT
Va. Governor Blocks Bill on Electric Chair
This photo provided by the Virginia Department of Corrections shows the electric chair at the Greensville Correctional Center in Jarratt, Va.   (Virginia Department of Corrections via AP, File)

(Newser) – Death-row inmates in Virginia won't have to face the electric chair—unless they want to. Gov. Terry McAuliffe has blocked a measure that would have made death by electrocution the mandatory Plan B if the state runs out of lethal-injection drugs, reports the Washington Post. McAuliffe had until midnight to veto or amend the legislation, and he chose to amend it: If the state runs out of drugs in the future, it can authorize an anonymous pharmacy to supply some more. Religious leaders had pressured McAuliffe to block the "inhumane" electric chair, reports the Huffington Post. However, the state is one of a few that still allows inmates to choose the chair—it's nicknamed "Old Sparky" in Virginia—when condemned to die. (Read more electric chair stories.)

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